Open XDR , Security Information & Event Management (SIEM) , Security Operations

Exabeam Gets 3rd CEO Since 2021, Promotes CPO Adam Geller

Geller Replaces Michael DeCesare, Who Seeks to 'Balance Health and Lifestyle'
Exabeam Gets 3rd CEO Since 2021, Promotes CPO Adam Geller
Adam Geller, CEO, Exabeam (Image: Exabeam)

Exabeam will have its third CEO since June 2021 after promoting Chief Product Officer Adam Geller to take over as its top leader.

See Also: Enhancing Cyber Defense with AI-Powered SOCs

The Silicon Valley-based security operations vendor elevated Geller to replace Michael DeCesare, 57, who started as Exabeam's president and CEO two years ago after leading Forescout for nearly six years. DeCesare stepped down this week "to balance health and lifestyle." He had taken over for Nir Polak, who co-founded Exabeam in June 2013, served as CEO for eight years and still chairs the board of directors (see: The Importance of Automated Cyberthreat Response).

"I have built a strong leadership team at Exabeam and have every confidence in their ability to continue the momentum and accelerated growth achieved during my tenure. Having worked alongside Adam for the last two years, I wholeheartedly agree he is the right choice for CEO," DeCesare said. "Exabeam will benefit from a CEO with such an established and proven cloud-delivered product background."

Geller started at Exabeam in June 2020 as chief product officer after spending more than seven years at Palo Alto Networks, where he led the company's cloud product management, engineering, quality assurance and DevOps teams. He spearheaded Exabeam's October 2022 launch of a new SIEM tool that can handle and organize large volumes of disparate data at the same speed as public cloud providers.

"We are incredibly proud of the accomplishments made under Mike's leadership at Exabeam," Geller said in a statement. "It has been a privilege to work alongside him since he joined the company in 2021. I appreciate the continued support of the executive leadership team and the board as we work to advance security operations."

A Decade-Long Journey From UEBA to SIEM to XDR

Geller wasn't immediately available for additional comment to Information Security Media Group. He will work alongside company President Ralph Pisani, who will lead the company's global sales and marketing functions. Exabeam closed a $200 million Series F round at a $2.4 billion valuation when DeCesare was hired in June 2021, but the firm hasn't disclosed any additional funding or an updated valuation since then.

"Having worked alongside Adam for the last two years, I wholeheartedly agree he is the right choice for CEO."
– Michael DeCesare, former president and CEO, Exabeam

Exabeam in its early years helped define the user entity and behavioral analytics category, and its next-gen approach to SIEM challenged incumbents such as Splunk, LogRhythm and QRadar, which is part of IBM. In May 2021, the company moved into the extended detection and response space with automation and use-case-specific context that helps security analysts defend against threats.

The debut of New-Scale SIEM in October 2022 gave clients more scalability as well as robust dashboards and reporting via a new interface that makes it easier for clients to see where their data is coming from. Exabeam has raised $391 million in seven rounds of outside funding and employs 733 people, up 15.8% from 633 employees a year ago, according to IT-Harvest. Nearly 80% of employees are based in the U.S.

"We get much, much more granular at threat detection," DeCesare told ISMG in October 2022. "If a customer is dealing with somebody who is not breaking in but they're logging in using stolen credentials, Exabeam's product can still detect and stop those things. And there's not anything else on the market that can come close to us at that."

Exabeam Drops in Analyst Reviews for SIEM, Security Analytics

Analyst reviews of Exabeam's product have been a mixed bag. Gartner named it a leader in SIEM but cut its execution ability rank from first to seventh. Gartner praised Exabeam for effective alert prioritization, searchable log storage and access to third-party data, but it criticized the firm for extended onboarding time, lack of native ecosystem components and confusing messaging around XDR and SIEM (see: Microsoft, IBM, Splunk Dominate SIEM Gartner Magic Quadrant).

"The Exabeam SIEM requires a larger amount of professional services days to configure than other SaaS SIEMs in the marketplace," Gartner Vice President Pete Shoard wrote in October 2022. "This adds cost and complexity for end users."

Forrester dropped Exabeam from being a security analytics leader to a mere contender in December 2022, and its current offering rank plummeted from second to 10th. The analyst firm praised Exabeam for powerful UBA capabilities and allowing users to create their own rules but criticized the company for focusing on monetizing outcome-based apps rather than customer needs (see: Splunk, Elastic, Microsoft Top Security Analytics: Forrester).

"Exabeam best suits clients looking for robust UBA capabilities and a clean user experience, but more experienced and technical teams should look elsewhere," Forrester Senior Analyst Allie Mellen wrote in December.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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